2761 Published Reviews
Crysis Remastered TrilogyPS4
The Crysis trilogy gained fame for its presentation more than anything else, which is a shame because underneath all the high-quality textures, models and environments lurked fun shooters. While available on consoles, however, the series was clearly a PC franchise that struggled to run on other platforms. The Crysis Remastered Trilogy fixes that, finally delivering all three games at higher resolutions and stable frame rates.
Back 4 BloodPS5
Back 4 Blood manages to recapture much of the magic Turtle Rock Studios crafted more than a decade ago. In short bursts, Back 4 Blood is a fantastic co-op shooter filled with tight gameplay, a robust card-building system that lends itself to replayability, and a buttery-smooth performance that manages to capture that frenetic, zombie-slaying action of its forebearer.
Metroid Prime 4 may still be years away, but make no mistake that MercurySteam and Nintendo’s latest incarnation of Metroid has made the strain of such a wait not just more bearable, but potentially no longer existent. Sure to please longtime fans and general Switch owners/newcomers alike, Metroid Dread more than delivers on a climax two decades in the making.
Far Cry 6PS5
It’s all wrapped up in a beautiful presentation that truly transports players to paradise, at least when nothing terrible is happening. That’s not to say the game doesn’t have its quirks and questionable decisions, and many of its core gameplay loops contradict themselves when a setpiece moment shows up, but there’s still a lot of good to be found here. Yara may be an awful place to live, but playing Far Cry 6 is well worth the trip to the rotten paradise.
Jett: The Far ShorePS4
JETT: The Far Shore has an impressive world with well-crafted lore, an intriguing story and eye-catching visuals. Unfortunately, you actually have to play through the game to experience any of it, and that ends up being a slow, plodding mess in more ways than one. Maybe those with more patience will enjoy the trip more, but everyone else can rightfully skip JETT: The Far Shore and just remain grounded with better games instead.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom PRINCE'S EDITIONSwitch
The graphic quality does take a noticeable hit, and while the DLC content isn’t incredible, it does help make up for the technical concessions. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is a great RPG and should be played be all fans of the genre. The main selling point for Prince’s Edition is the portability factor. But while the visuals and performance is better on other platforms, Ni No Kuni II performs well enough on the Switch where it’s a viable platform to experience this game.
Anyone looking for a new otome game to play will find enjoyment in picking up Olympia Soiree. Even newcomers to the otome genre might want to try it out as this game quickly hooks players with Olympia’s plight and relatable mood. This is an excellent release that gives Switch gamers an ever-increasing bounty of visual novels to choose from. Jump into the colorful world of Olympia Soiree and you’ll be brought on a journey with highs, lows and both surprising and satisfying conclusions.
The Challenge section adds a more focused set of objectives than the free-form arcade mode, and it’s a lot of fun to bounce between the two to blast bugs with wild abandon and then switch over to focus on a specific goal. While the gameplay itself isn’t particularly deep, it’s not supposed to be, and instead provides straightforward shooting action best enjoyed in small, but highly-satisfying doses. It’s been forty years since Centipede crawled into arcades, and it’s great to see a new version that’s so faithful to the long-gone shooter classic.
Diablo II: ResurrectedPC
Diablo II: Resurrected keeps the gameplay of the original intact while offering many quality-of-life and cosmetic improvements. Even with all these upgrades it still plays like a twenty-year-old game which may be considered a negative to people who didn’t enjoy the original or have since moved on to more modern gameplay styles. Nevertheless this is one of gaming’s great dungeon crawlers and despite showing its age, the gameplay remains just as fun and addictive as it was when it was first released.
Kena: Bridge of SpiritsPC
While we might have to arguably wait for future games to unlock the series’ true potential, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is still a great first outing for Ember Lab. If the breathtaking visuals don’t suck you in, then there’s the satisfying and challenging combat as well, or the wide world to explore. Or maybe you just want to find all the teeny hats for the Rot in order to make them as ridiculously adorable as possible. Whatever the case, there’s going to be something satisfying for everyone here in Kena’s debut.
Knockout Home FitnessSwitch
Knoutout Home Fitness is one of the more enjoyable exercise games in existence. It doesn’t require much in terms of set up or prior training, just enter some user information and start punching those calories away. Realistically Knockout Home Fitness isn’t going to get any of its players ripped, but it’s a fun way to get in a cardio workout. It’s low impact enough where it can be used daily to get some exercise in, or for people who view cardio as a necessary evil it can be something used three times a week to meet that requirement.
HOT WHEELS UNLEASHEDPS5
Hot Wheels Unleashed is a fantastic arcade racer at its core, but the overall product is hurt by the gacha mechanics. Thankfully, the quality of the core game is good enough to largely overcome that handicap, but it would be a far better experience with rebalancing in that regard down the line.
The team left no stone unturned for FIFA 22 and went all out in making a supremely-improved football game. The gameplay is the best the series has ever offered and makes the game fun no matter what mode you choose. The managerial career is the stand-out mode here with the ability to create a club and manage every aspect of the team. The player career offers a ton of meaningful upgrades that actually make you feel like you’re accomplishing something.
ACTIVE LIFE Outdoor ChallengeSwitch
Active Life Outdoor Challenge is mildly entertaining from a game standpoint and features beginner level physical activity from an exercise one. It’s not a bad form of exertainment, just not a remarkably good one. In small doses it can be fun and could lead to enjoying more strenuous exercises, but ultimately it’s updating the Wii gimmick of using the floormat with a Switch gimmick of using a leg strap.
Cruis’n Blast is the most thrilling racing experience on Switch and the best arcade racer in years. It plays like a dream and offers up more control options than most arcade racers on the console. Its diverse lineup of vehicles, tracks and various track-related setpieces are tremendous and keep the player engaged from beginning to end. Other than the lack of online multiplayer, it’s hard to find something missing from the overall presentation given what the game is trying to be.
There are moments when Tsugunohi succeeds as a horror game. The visuals and concepts for some of the chapters are incredibly disturbing. The understated, quiet moments of the game are the most effective. However, there was a push to make them more outwardly scary with continuous ghost sightings, monster jump scare tactics and these things ruin the mood.
The shining spot for this year’s game is the defensive gameplay and the ability to truly challenge shots and defenders, especially in the paint. It’s extremely satisfying. While a bit of the game remains, NBA 2K22 still offers the closest television experience in a sports video game to date. However, that shot meter is still frustrating as the game remains geared toward its hardcore community who prefer grinding.
Once again refining the detective gameplay (even if some unfortunate blemishes do remain still) sprinkled throughout, but more so its combat. Expanding the latter, both directly and indirectly, in ways that make jumping back into another street brawl or two that more worthwhile. Those worried about where the tradition of Yakuza would stand following last year’s change in direction for the series should rest easy in just how well executed Lost Judgment truly is, from terrifically-written story to masterful gameplay.
Aided in no way by a woefully-inadequate integration of combat as well as a generally unpolished look to its characters and aesthetic alike. While there’s intrigue to discover amongst the structure and layout of locales in Aragami 2, the sequel’s turn away from the distilled charm of its one-man stealth prior leaves more perplexed questions than convincing answers.
BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh BitesPS4
BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites features great-looking animation and creative level designs, but is hindered less-than-stellar game mechanics. No matter how good the style might be, style over substance is generally not desirable. That’s not to say there isn’t fun to be had here as BloodRayne fanatics are bound to enjoy the remastered retelling of her most recent adventure. Fans of the genre are also likely to enjoy this though some of the control issues may hamper the fun.
Deathloop is another incredible title from Arkane, once again putting their skills in developing both quality stealth and first-person action to good use and blending it with time loops in order to create one of the year’s most memorable games. This is thanks in part to a clever twist that encourages exploration to its fullest in order to find Blackreef’s best mysteries and the most creative solutions to its puzzles.
WarioWare: Get It Together!Switch
WarioWare: Get It Together! is exactly what fans of the series will be expecting. It’s a brand new mix on the familiar formula that allows players to try out brand new microgames in fully new ways in addition to teaming up with a friend if they so desire to challenge and compete with one another. WarioWare at its core is very much a title for people who love competition and getting the top score, and doesn’t have as much to do for those who don’t have a friend to play with or want to get a bigger number over the others, but it’s still fun to pick up and enjoy all it has to offer along the way.
The Artful EscapeXbox Series X
The Artful Escape may not have particularly deep or challenging gameplay, but the main reason to attend this show is its incredible writing and Francis’ trippy, out-of-this-world journey in discovering his new persona, one which features a lot of nifty twists in various ways, alongside truly striking sci-fi visuals and an expertly-crafted soundtrack. The Artful Escape is an astonishing rock and roll epic that the likes of Ziggy Stardust would be proud of.
Action RPG fans will enjoy the fast-paced combat, while life sim fans will love the emphasis on the characters and their story. Kitaria Fables is a fun time and a must-play for fans of either action RPGs, farming or life simulation games. It’s also a great gateway game for fans of another genre who want to try out the other given how well-done everything is done here.
Life is Strange: True ColorsXbox Series X
Life is Strange: True Colors may sadly dim towards the end, but it’s worth checking out alone just to experience Haven Springs, with its gorgeous scenery, terrific cast of characters both major and minor, and an intriguing mystery that requires quite a bit of fun gameplay. Alex’s emotion-based powers are best used for exploring everything around her, and there’s a lot of amazing little stories to find.